An Indian citizen, living ”illegally” in the US, has been found guilty by a US court of providing material support to Lebanese group Hezbollah and faces a maximum sentence of 75 years in prison.
Patrick Nayyar, 48, was convicted after a week-long jury trial before US District Judge Robert Sweet. He was found guilty of five counts related to the support he attempted to provide to Hezbollah, which has been designated as a foreign terrorist organisation by the US.
Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara said Nayyar, who had been residing “illegally in America”, was convicted of conspiring and attempting to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organisation; conspiring to make or receive a contribution of funds, goods or services to Hezbollah and conspiring to traffic in firearms and ammunition.
The five counts carry between five to 20 years imprisonment and in all Nayyar faces a maximum sentence of 75 years in prison when he is sentenced on September 25.
According to the superseding indictment filed in a Manhattan federal court and evidence presented at trial, Nayyar and his co-conspirator Conrad Stanisclaus Mulholland agreed to provide weapons, ammunition and vehicles to Hezbollah between July and September 2009.
An undercover FBI informant met Nayyar on several occasions and told him he could deliver materials to Hezbollah. Nayyar and Mulholland agreed to sell guns, ammunition, vehicles, bulletproof vests and night vision goggles to the informant.
During these meetings, Nayyar and Mulholland provided the confidential informant with a handgun, a box of ammunition and a pick-up truck, believing that he would deliver the items to Hezbollah in Lebanon, according to the indictment and evidence.
Nayyar was charged in the Southern District of New York in October 2009, following his arrest at his residence in Queens here in September 2009 on a separate charge.
Charges are also pending against Mulholland, 45, who is not an American citizen and resides abroad. He is currently at large.